Building a Tiny House in Adelaide

(featured image – tiny house by James the Upcyclist – image Alicia Fox Photography

John Baxter is building a tiny house in Adelaide. Currently located in the Adelaide hills, he says that the portability of a tiny house is one of its attractions, but also one of the issues, as you have to find a permanent or semi permanent, location. There are also different rules and regulations when it comes to owner builders – there is no registration for this in South Australia, but is in other states. John’s house is classified as a granny flat, and so land can be rented to place the house on. There is no point spending $300,000 on a piece of land, for a tiny house – so this remains one of the considerations when building – where will the home live. You can build it and live in it, without needing to purchase the land.
The home really is tiny, and one of the challenges is the living spaces, but John says a different way of thinking is needed when it comes to what you hold onto in terms of stuff – and there will be more outdoor living space, with a big deck and productive gardens in the final resting place.
John is building the house full time and has skills in building which are helping him in the project, but says that if you want to build a tiny house yourself, there are lots of resources out there to assist.

Materials & Details of the Tiny House

  • The home is just under 15 Square metres in size – but there are a range of sizes for a tiny house
  • They are planning for it to be classified as a granny flat and will not move it for at least 10 years
  • You can however have a house classified as a caravan and move it around more often
  • John has used structural bracing board on the interior walls, to add additional support for bracing the walls due to the fact the house will be transported on a number of occasions. Usually this is used on the exterior. It is made overseas and not available locally
  • It is a typical timber frame home
  • He has used structural ply on the floors which he will sand
  • The ceiling is also a plywood
  • They made the walls 70 mm thick which is not standard, to try and squeeze a little bit more room inside
  • He has recycled windows and doors – mostly found on Gumtree or salvaged from builders, and has used windows in clever ways for breezes, including that upside down window in the bathroom so you can stick your head out and wash your hair in the rain!
  • The insulation contains a large amount of recycled content
  • They will use passive design, orienting the home on its more permanent home once they are living there, to try and capture breezes and correct sun angles. He says he feels the heating will not be an issue but in Adelaide heatwaves they may need to evacuate for a few days!
  • They are aiming to finish by October and we will revisit to see the final home!
  • John suggests attending a tiny house workshop if you want to build one – check the Tiny House Australia Facebook page for details of upcoming workshops, or seek your local state group

You can find out more about tiny houses through a google search but here are some links
John’s Facebook Page
John’s website
Tiny Houses Australia Facebook
Tiny Houses South Australia
Are  you interested in building a tiny house? And do you have any questions or experiences to share? Please let us know!


  1. Mary Bond on August 9, 2016 at 8:40 am

    Jed, can we build one?

  2. Mel O'Connor on August 9, 2016 at 8:50 am

    Phil Oddy perfect for your backyard stay!!!

  3. Phil Oddy on August 9, 2016 at 8:54 am

    Yes sure would!

  4. Mel O'Connor on August 9, 2016 at 9:11 am

    You could make that easily…!!

  5. Wendy Grigg on August 9, 2016 at 10:26 am

    Tash Rose, could fit in our backyard. Lol

  6. Barbara Murphy on August 9, 2016 at 11:33 am

    Provision for cooking ? Bathroom? Fridge, sink for washing up , table? Comfy chair ?

  7. Tracy Holtze on August 9, 2016 at 11:52 am

    Fantastic! I love the concept of tiny homes and with the recycling? Brilliant!

  8. Graeme Arber on August 9, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    I have built a few in my time using recycled materials and furnished with secondhand sinks, bed/lounge combo, woodheater/cooking stove combo, radio etc and also with tool shelving and a workbench. I called these SHEDS. 🙂 🙂

  9. Recycled Interiors & The Sustainable Home Hub on August 9, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    this image is not the tour Barbara Murphy have a look at the video on the link – they are building all of that in 🙂

  10. Recycled Interiors & The Sustainable Home Hub on August 9, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    me too! Not sure if I can live in one though!

  11. Karen Brown on August 9, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    love love love

  12. Stephen Francis on August 9, 2016 at 8:38 pm

    That’s called a caravan

  13. Jemimas Corner on August 9, 2016 at 8:40 pm

    Shane N Kerry Stanford this could be all you need for a weekend stay at Gurley . lol

  14. Shane N Kerry Stanford on August 9, 2016 at 8:40 pm

    Oh dear me lol

  15. Michelle Bliss on August 9, 2016 at 9:09 pm

    Brianna Paige Hudson for the new property?!

  16. Brianna Paige Hudson on August 9, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    Yes please U0001f44d

  17. Rachel Moodie on August 9, 2016 at 10:18 pm

    Clint Moodie if only xx

  18. Sheridan Crane on August 9, 2016 at 10:53 pm

    Jodie Meldrum how many trailers you got

  19. Kim Shilvock on August 10, 2016 at 5:38 am

    Peter Love Emily Love idea for your block

  20. Janette Sampson on August 10, 2016 at 5:44 am

    Tanya Jones you should build a tiny house with Ethan!

  21. Rebecca Chapman on August 10, 2016 at 5:44 am

    I am so excited to see this. I want one pls

  22. Zoe Abinett on August 10, 2016 at 5:55 am

    Emily-Marie Cooper can we make one

  23. Recycled Interiors & The Sustainable Home Hub on August 10, 2016 at 7:09 am

    have a look at the video he talks about how to make one!

  24. Andrea Stead on August 10, 2016 at 9:39 am

    Georgie Warren Tamsin Orr-Walker this looks right up your alley !

  25. Colleen Lappin on August 10, 2016 at 9:48 am

    Alison Grace U0001f60dU0001f60d
    You could take it anywhere you want !

  26. Alison Grace on August 10, 2016 at 10:06 am

    It looks like an outhouse U0001f602U0001f602U0001f602

  27. Tony Gilson on August 10, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    CoooolU0001f60a I was wondering whether to rid of my old trailer or not…… it’s got a new purpose I feel U0001f602 lol, luv it.

  28. Eleanor Matheson on August 10, 2016 at 3:12 pm

    Jules Smith 😉 x

  29. Tanya Jones on August 10, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    Yes yes yes. Better start collected some materials U0001f600

  30. Bryan Lawrence on August 10, 2016 at 5:59 pm

    Pretty cool Mel Lawrence – Aughey

  31. Kelly Warren-Hall on August 10, 2016 at 6:02 pm

    Jamie Hall, please can you make me one…. I would like a mum cave…

  32. Tanya Swanepoel on August 10, 2016 at 6:06 pm

    Ethan… for me on your peoperty when I’m old??

  33. Sonia Mcleod-dobbs on August 10, 2016 at 6:22 pm

    Rhett Mcleod-Dobbs we need to do thi

  34. Anne Gilkison on August 11, 2016 at 7:48 am

    Wouldn’t take long to do the HouSework

  35. Robyn Ward on August 17, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    I can see you in this Shazz Sharon Yeoman

  36. Helene Wild on September 6, 2016 at 11:48 am

    he he he! so cute. Otherwise known as a caravan!

  37. Maureen Van Brecht on September 6, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    Jenny Erb. this would look good on our front lawn

  38. Maria on August 10, 2023 at 5:54 pm

    I have been thinking lately to buy a tiny house, instead of paying so much rent for an apartment. But don’t know where to begin. I have a job in Mawson Lakes South Australia. Are there places to rent land here in SA?
    Would appreciate any advice.

    Thank you


    • Helen Edwards on August 25, 2023 at 7:25 am

      Hi Maria, I am not sure about this because each council has their own rules around land use. You would need to contact the particular councils in the areas you are considering putting a tiny house on. It can be quite difficult. All the best working this out.

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